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While volumes have been written about the Protestant missionary movement in China, scant attention has been paid to the role of nursing and nurses in these missions. Set against a backdrop of war and revolution, Healing Henan brings sixty years of missionary nursing out of the shadows by examining how Canadian nurses shaped health care in the province of Henan and how China, in turn, influenced the nature of missionary nursing.
From the time Presbyterian (later United Church) missionaries arrived in China in 1888 until the abrupt closure of the North China Mission in 1947, Canadian nurses were ubiquitous in Henan. As China underwent a tumultuous transition from dynastic kingdom to independent republic, Canadian nurses advanced a version of hospital-based nursing education and practice that rivalled modern nursing care in Canada. In Healing Henan, Sonya Grypma offers a highly readable and fresh perspective on China missions and the global expansion of professional nursing. As the first comprehensive study of missionary nursing in China, it will be of particular interest to nurses and missionaries, and to historians of Canada, China, nursing, medicine, womens work, and missions.